vpg_box1open.jpgThe lights dimmed, the music stopped, and the fountains at the Bellagio started chiming like clocks. It was time for Loki, the enigmatic puzzle mistress of the Vanishingpoint game to work her magic. For over three minutes, the Bellagio fountains were turned into a massive movie screen as clues to the online portion of the game appeared like ghostly images on the water.

Earlier on Monday, the Vanishingpoint game site updated from its teasing countdown to include ways for players to register for the game. The update also included information about the grand prize which had previously driven players into a speculation frenzy. Their wildest dreams were confirmed when it was announced that the grand prize winner would win a trip into space aboard the Rocketplane® XP Vehicle, along with various other goodies.

Both the promise of out of this world prizes and the general spectacle of the Bellagio event had players from all over the world coming together in chat to solve Loki’s puzzle. Ranging from easy to hard, they all required bits of information from the fountain display to solve. While a video was eventually posted of the event for the players at home, many of the puzzles were solved based upon eyewitness accounts relayed over the phone lines or posted on flickr accounts. In the end, all twelve puzzles fell to the puzzling hordes in under five hours. Those who managed to solve all twelve were rewarded with another video that led to a hidden web page with information on how one person could have their name immortalized on an AMD Athlon 64 FX chip – if they are the first one to solve the meta puzzle that Loki has devised.

While the Vanishing Point game doesn’t contain all of the elements that alternate reality game players are necessarily used to, ARG enthusiasts will find that the meta puzzle is the place to be. It’s been reported that the meta puzzle has over 1,000 pieces to it — an extensive puzzling task to be sure! So far, players have discovered an email trail, instructing them to call several different numbers and to input their fax numbers to receive Loki’s flight itinerary.

With three more weeks of puzzles and eleven more real world events to take place, it’s not too late to get into what may win you the prize of a lifetime. The next event takes place tomorrow (January 13th) so put your puzzling caps on and get ready to be blown away.